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Porsche 914 Goertz – Un proto pas comme les autres…

Pauvre destin que celui d’un Concept Car… en fait, c’est un peu comme ces crétins des télé réalités. On les balance sous les projecteurs et devant les caméras, on leur fait croire qu’il ont un potentiel intéressant, mais la plupart finissent par retomber dans un anonymat dépressif une fois revenu dans la réalité… Eh bien […]

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Total 911 investigates: auctions v dealers

You’ve read all the road test articles and can probably quote all the relevant Total 911 Data File stats by heart. You’ve finally decided which model will be right for you, and you’ve enough money in the bank to purchase it. That leaves you with one final but crucial call: how are you going to locate and buy your perfect 911?

Before the internet made the world a much smaller place, you were limited to chasing up possible contenders on the phone and assessing which examples were worth a day’s drive for a viewing. Today you can examine high-resolution images of a potential purchase from every angle and check its full history file, irrespective of whether it’s located in New Guinea or New York. This means the pool of available cars is much greater, but the reality is that most of us still want to buy something we’ve had the opportunity to see and touch with our own eyes and hands. 

Private sales have always been popular, but with these cars generally now commanding greater sums of money, buyers are increasingly choosing to use the services of specialist dealers and top auction houses. Total 911 has decided to investigate the pros and cons of both routes. Representing the auction houses will be the highly regarded Silverstone Auctions, and flying the flag for specialist dealers will be Paragon Porsche, voted Best Independent Porsche Specialist (Sales) in the 2015 Total 911 Awards.

It’s worth knowing 1.5 million cars worth a collective £42 billion are sold by auction houses every year in the UK, many of them tired trade-ins or anonymous fleet cars. However, specialist auction houses such as Silverstone, Coys and Bonhams concentrate on the classic and exotic market sectors.

Since 2015, Silverstone Auctions has held an annual sale exclusively for Porsche cars, the jewel of last year’s sale being a 993 Turbo S on which bidding peaked north of a quarter of a million pounds. Plenty of 911s sold in the more accessible 20 to 40 thousand pound bracket, though. This year’s auction is scheduled for 29 September, but Silverstone also included some choice 911s on their Race Retro Classic sale list recently, and we couldn’t resist going along to find out first hand if an auction room really is a viable place to buy a Porsche 911 sports car.

First though, we had an appointment with Silverstone Auctions’ operations manager Harry Whale. Harry has a love of 911s dating back to when he raced one as a 17 year old. We asked him why a buyer should purchase through a Silverstone auction, rather than use a specialist dealer. “There are advantages to both. It’s down to each individual car. We carefully select our cars – if the condition isn’t right, or the provenance isn’t right, we won’t sell it. We turn away far more cars than we accept and we go to great lengths to ensure the cars are what they say they are, and are valued realistically. Auctions are perhaps not for everyone. In the past people looked down their noses at auctions as just a place to dispose of cars, but in recent years specialist auction houses have changed dramatically. We have got to where we are by doing our due diligence to the highest possible standard. We build very good relationships with our buyers and sellers, many of whom have been working with us for years.”

For the full Total 911 investigation into the world of auctions vs dealers, pick up your copy of issue 165 here for direct delivery to your door. Alternatively, you can download the issue to your desired device via Apple Newsstand or Google Play

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Porsche 996 GT2: analogue anomaly

It is snowing. That’s suboptimal for any photoshoot, and more so when the subject will be a 996 GT2. Apparently the UK is being beaten by the ‘Beast of the East’, a Siberian weather front. So it’s snowing on the M25, London’s hateful orbital motorway. I’m not even at Paragon and I’m thinking of calling it all off: the motorway gantry signs are warning of severe weather and not to travel unless it’s essential.

I’m not sure ‘wanting to drive a 996 GT2’ counts as fulfilling that criteria, but I figure it’s worth pushing on as I’ve yet to receive a call from photographer Rich Pearce saying otherwise. Oddly, within 20 miles of Paragon’s Sussex location I enter something of a weather oasis, with bright sunshine and no clouds. Perhaps the Beast from the East is fearful of what’s in Paragon’s showroom; after all, the GT2 has something of a reputation. Rightfully, or wrongly, I’m still hoping to find out, and arriving at Paragon I’m immediately struck at how subtle it is.

My last GT2 experience was with the new one, the 991 GT2 RS, on UK roads for these very pages, and the figures the current car produces makes those of its ancestor look relatively mild. For the record, the 3.6-litre turbocharged flat six engine delivers 462bhp and 620Nm of torque. That’s enough for a 4.1 second 0-62mph time, a 195mph top speed and the sort of top-dog status in the early millennium that helped cement the GT2’s legend. Consider that a current 991.2 Carrera GTS develops within 10bhp of that maximum output and weighs only a few kilograms more and you could be hoodwinked into thinking that the 996 GT2 isn’t quite the menace the contemporary tests made it out to be.

That impression is further enhanced by the GT2’s comparatively meek looks, particularly compared to the somewhat overt current model. Based on a 996 Turbo it’s familiar, though GT2 spotters will appreciate the differing front bumper with its top vent, sizeable air intakes either side and more pronounced lower lip with its black leading edge. There are differing lower sills punctuated by alloy wheels which would usually wear GT2 wheel caps – this car instead favouring some stealthier Porsche crests – while there are punctured wings like its 996 Turbo relative. The fixed rear wing is the most obvious change over its Turbo brethren, coming in carbon if Clubsport was specified, saving as much as 2.8kg over the standard item.

The uprights that hold it aloft at the rear are structured as intakes, helping feed cooling, life-giving air to the 3.6-litre turbocharged flat six that resides under the engine cover. If you prised the badge off its rear the GT2 could pass as an aero-enhanced 911 to the uninitiated. That’s arguably a good thing, allowing the 996 GT2 to pass without attracting too much attention. That’s particularly true with Paragon’s immaculate example, painted in Polar silver: the original owner obviously didn’t plan any track activity and negated ticking that Clubsport option. There’s no cage, and the seats are black leather-covered sports items rather than cloth buckets.

To read the full article, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 165 in shops now or get it delivered directly to you here.

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Sales debate: Why are 996 GT2s undervalued compared to 993 and 997 GT2s?

For a while now, 993 GT2s have sat near the top of the financial tree as one of the most expensive production Porsche 911s on the collector’s market; expect to pay upwards of £500,000 ($675,450) for a nice example of the original widowmaker. The 993’s successor, the 996 GT2, has lagged behind value-wise though.

A year or so ago, a water-cooled GT2 could be found for under £60,000 ($81,000), making it one of our Neunelfers to buy in issue 126’s investor’s special, and, despite a price rise proving us right, they still languish behind 993 and 997 widowmakers.

“There’s quite a handful of them on the market right now,” says Porsche specialist Lee Maxted-Page, “and they’re in a spread between £100,000 to £150,000 ($135,00 to $202,000).”

With just 173 examples of the 993 GT2 built compared to the 996’s production run of 1,287, is this price gap purely down to the numbers available?

Silver Porsche 993 GT2

“No,” Maxted-Page confirms. “996 GT2s are still very low production cars as there were 129 UK cars built between 2001-04: 16 in 2001, 66 in 2002, 31 in 2003 and then 16 Gen2s in 2004.”

However, despite the 996’s prowess as a driver’s car, Maxted-Page feels it can’t be compared to the 993, the latter a “proper homologated car for Le Mans.” Mark Sumpter from Paragon agrees, pointing to the 996’s lack of racing pedigree as a key reason why its value lagged far behind the 993 GT2.

While Sumpter points out that the relative abundance of 996s does, rightfully, have an effect on the GT2 price gap, he feels that as the 996 is “a decade newer than the 993, the water-cooled car hasn’t hit ‘classic’ values yet.”

pr-porsche-997-gt2

It’s one of the reasons why Sumpter believes “good, original-spec 996 GT2s will continue to appreciate”, making them a good purchase despite the price hike they’ve enjoyed over the last year.

Maxted-Page agrees: “A lot of this water-cooled stuff has taken more time to appreciate than the air-cooled stuff,” he says. “But recently, the focus has been on Turbos, from the early 930s right the way through.”

As the 911 enters a new turbocharged era, Maxted- Page feels that interest is only going one way: “Low mileage, factory original cars have the potential to be valued in the £150,000 to £200,000 ($202,000 to $270,000) bracket.”

Sumpter is even more optimistic and claims, “a low-mileage, perfect car may get to £250,000 ($337,600) in the next two or three years.” He adds, “I think they will settle at around one third of the price of a good 993 GT2.” Good news if you thought you’d missed the water-cooled widowmaker boat.

For market advice on any generation or style of Porsche 911, check out our full selection of sales debates, where we ask the 911 experts the pertinent market questions so you don’t have to.

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Sales Spotlight: Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Supersport

While it’s hard to beat the purity of the early Neunelfer’s silhouette, we’ve always had a soft spot for Turbo-look Porsche 911s. Helping to accentuate the 911’s business end, those flared rear arches just look right in our eyes.

But, while a widebody appeals to many, not everyone wants a 911 Turbo (and all the inflated running costs associated with Porsche’s top-of-the-range sports car). That’s why, for over 30 years, Weissach has offered Turbo-look variants of certain Carrera models.

The craze started in 1984, when Porsche unveiled the ‘M491’ option code. Ticking this particular check box when ordering a new 3.2 Carrera resulted in the car you see before you: the 911 Carrera 3.2 SSE.

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Currently for sale at esteemed independent specialist, Paragon, this particular Carrera Supersport (SSE is short for ‘Supersport Equipment’) is one of the rare right-hand drive examples sold into the UK market.

While buyers in the US (where the Turbo had been removed from sale) were won over by the SSE’s purposeful looks, ‘tea tray’ spoiler and 930 brakes and suspension, sales on Total 911’s shores were more modest with just 226 cars coming to the UK.

Finished in Jet Black (with a matching black leather interior), Paragon’s Carrera 3.2 SSE is more unassuming than many wide-hipped 911s however, the stealthy aesthetic – completed with body-coloured centres on the 16-inch Fuchs alloys – is part of this particular example’s charm.

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Built in 1988, this Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Supersport benefits from the later G50 five-speed gearbox, bringing with it a much improved shifting experience over the 915 ‘box found on early SSEs.

Paragon’s car also comes with a host of period options, including sports seats, headlamp washers, central locking and an electric sunroof. As you would expect of classic 911 that has completed just 68,604 miles, the black SSE looks immaculately presented.

For more information on this Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 SSE, or to see more of their Porsche 911 stock, check out independent specialist, Paragon’s website now.

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